Once upon a time, not so very long ago, in the city of Delhi, a bookseller, a journalist and a story ma’am gathered to find a way to bring children and books together to celebrate the joy of reading. In a tiny bookshop they plotted and planned, schemed and dreamed until one fine summer’s day they spoke out……..
“Bah! A children’s literature festival! That will never work!”
Such a response only strengthened their resolve and even acted as a rallying call. Within a few days, others who shared their passion joined their ranks and Bookaroo was born – a 2-day children’s literature festival – with an outreach programme into schools, Bookaroo in the City.
During the last weekend of November in 2008 some 3,000 children, aged between 4 and 14, flocked to listen to 36 speakers conduct 44 sessions. From pop-ups to puppets, pictures to poems, pirates to princesses, doodles to dragons, comics to cats, monsters to mice, stars to spies there was something for every child – and parent and grandparent!
Year by year more was added – Bookart, an illustrators’ exhibition; a third day for schools; Bookaroo in the City’s reach extended to over 100 schools; more sessions with more speakers from all over India and the world; more children coming from further and further afield; Bookaroo travelled to other cities, 3 times to Kashmir and once to Pune, with a second festival planned for January 2015.
The journey continues as on the 28th and 29th March 2015 Bookaroo will be partnering with the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak under the patronage of the Chief Minister’s wife, Datin Patinggi Dato Hajah Jamilah Haji Anu, to hold Bookaroo in Kuching.
Come and join the fun at the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak from 11am to 5pm, meet writers, illustrators, and storytellers from near and far who will make books come alive, including Sarawak’s newest writer for children, Golda Mowe.
With thanks to our many supporters and friends especially KINO and the Permai Rainforest who have helped to make this happen
Swati Roy who is the co-owner of Eureka!, the children’s bookstore in Delhi, Venkatesh, journalist and co-owner of Eureka! and Jo Williams, storyma’am, three of the founder members of Bookaroo and current Festival Directors.
An Iban dream published
I knew at twelve that I wOULD be a writer but having no one to support my choice of career, I was persuaded to study commerce in Waseda University, Japan. I played the role of mediocre student then mediocre employee to perfection. By the time I approached my mid thirties, however, my meeting minutes began to take on a script-like quality that many of my colleagues found disconcerting.
Months of trying to juggle writing Iban Dream in the evenings and working a full time job during the day finally led to a deterioration in my health and morale. I was constantly exhausted and often experienced shoulder or back pain. When I finally resigned from a full time job in 2004, I had no training in writing or even in analysing literature, so I relied heavily on writer’s forums and blogs to polish my techniques. I also depended on family and friends for part-time work that pay for my day-to-day needs.
In 2012, I finally come across a publisher who was interested in Iban Dream. The paperback copy was published in 2013 and launched in Singapore at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2013. I am now a published writer.